Saturday, February 25, 2006

Getting the hump

Private Eye
17 February - 2 March 2006

Fresh embarrassment for Sunderland City Council, which has yet to repay more than £34,000 in illegally issued parking fines.
Not only were there insufficient local "traffic orders" issued for a new "decriminalised" parking regime which came into force in 2003 - therefore making thousands of parking tickets illegal - but it has now emerged that the same applies to speed humps and 20mph zones in scores of the city's streets.
By installing humps without proper legal orders, the council was, in fact, merely obstructing the highway. Motorists fined for speeding, or whose exhausts have been damaged, may now be able to sue.
Local campaigner Neil Herron, who exposed the cock-ups, believes that all parking tickets issued from 2003 until late last year could be unlawful - and due refunds - because they did not carry the date of issue. A report by the city solicitor reveals that parking contractor NCP was told to stop giving out tickets with no issue date last June, but carried on regardless.
The parking shambles and scandals ensuing from the council's sale of its housing stock to the Sunderland Housing Group (Eyes passim) have made it likely that opponents of the city's clapped out Labour regime will succeed in gathering the 10,000-plus signatures necessary to force a referendum later this year on whether to have an elected mayor. Various names are being bandied about as possiv#ble candidates, including Mr Herron, and BBC Action woman Kate Adie, who was brought up in Sunderland (Ms Adie tells the Eye this is the first she has heard of it).
Locals have been encouraged by the way entrenched Labour regimes were overturned in nearby Middlesbrough and Hartlepool in 2002 by "peoples candidates" - former "Robocop" Ray Mallon and H'Angus the Monkey. Perhaps a monkey should stand in Sunderland, too - this being the council that prosecuted the late greengrocer Steven Thoburn for selling bananas by the pound.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Neil Herron for Mayor!!!!

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